Lake District Walks
Knott & Great Calva
Date: 5th May 2012
Distance: 11.1 miles
Ascent: 2903 feet
Time: 5 hours 50 mins
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: NY249323
A marvellous walk in the Northern Fells visiting a number of fells including Great Cockup, Knott and the shapely Great Calva.
Route Summary: Peter House Farm - Horsemoor Hills - Great Cockup - Meal Fell - Great Sca Fell - Knott - Little Calva - Great Calva - Cumbria Way - Peter House Farm
1. Great Cockup from the road to Horsemoor Hills
3. Bakestall and Skiddaw from the path on to Great Cockup
4. Looking across to Binsey from the north cairn on Great Cockup
5. Meal Fell
6. Looking along Burntod Gill towards Skiddaw
7. The lovely little pass of Trusmadoor
8. The shelter cairn on the top of Meal Fell
9. Great Cockup from Meal Fell
10. Carrock Fell and the distant line of the North Pennines
11. The top of Knott with the Skiddaw group in the distance
12. Great Calva
13. The top of Little Calva looking to Skiddaw
14. Looking back at Knott from Great Calva
15. On the top of Great Calva
16. Mungrisdale Common and Blencathra
17. Skiddaw House and Lonscale Fell
18. The upper falls of Whitewater Dash
19. The Dash Valley from Black Nettle Hause
20. The Cumbria Way as it passes below the rim of Dead Crags
Walk Detail: It was a cold sunny morning as I set off along the road to Horsemoor Hills from the small parking area by Peter House Farm. After this short, but necessary, section of roadwalking I turned on to the bridleway that contours along the flanks of the awesomely named Great Cockup heading for Burn Tod.
The views across the Dash Valley from the bridleway were excellent - especially striking was the outline of Bakestall and the rim of Dead Crags. Leaving the bridleway at its highest point I next followed a broad path on to the grassy ridge of Great Cockup to the small cairn at the western edge of the summit.
The views north from the cairn were stunning. Beyond Binsey and the Solway Firth was Criffel backed by the distant Galloway Hills. Further to the east I could also see what must have been the Langholm and Moffat Hills too.
Passing over the highest point of Great Cockup I then descended to the rim of crags overlooking the attractive pass of Trusmadoor. The next section of the walk, from Trusmadoor onto Meal Fell, Great Sca Fell and Knott, was a pleasant trip down memory lane following a route I'd first trod six and a half years before (how time flies!).
From the top of Knott (incidentally the first time I'd visited a Wainwright 3 times) I set off to bag the last two Northern Fell tops on my to do list - Little Calva and Great Calva. By Lake District standards the top of the former didn't have too much going for it. The boggy pools, heather, tussocky grass and small cairn were perhaps more reminiscent of the Pennines.
Great Calva was altogether much more interesting and shapely - its central place in the Northern Fells, overlooking the wilderness of Skiddaw Forest, meant that the views were absolutely superb. Of particular note was the view south all the way to Steel Fell. Looking down into the remote Caldew valley I couldn't help but think the Northern Fells would make a superb destination for a multi-day wildcamping trip.
From the top of Great Calva I followed an initially broad path south through the heather. As the path descended it became narrower and narrower and occasionally it disappeared into the heather before finally reaching the Cumbria Way a third of a mile north of Skiddaw House.
Once on the Cumbria Way it was then an easy stride all the way back to Peter House Farm, the twin highlights of the return being glimpses of Whitewater Dash and the sombre rim of Dead Crags below Bakestall. This was a super walk and a fitting way to finally complete the Northern Fells.